Two big stories in the news this week.
First, the Vatican has issued yet another warning to the LCWR, an umbrella group riddled with dissent and heresy that represents about 80 percent of American nuns.
Second, Cardinal Walter Kasper has brushed off the warning and assured the nuns they have no reason to worry. “I am also considered suspect!” he laughed. More interesting is this reported exchange between Cardinal Kasper and Pope Francis:
Kasper is in the U.S. to discuss his book, “Mercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life.” It includes a blurb from Pope Francis, who has made mercy a cornerstone of his ministry since he was elected last year.
On Monday, Kasper told the audience that after Francis praised him by name just days after his election, “an old cardinal came to him and said, ‘Holy Father, you cannot do this! There are heresies in this book!’ ”
As Francis recounted the story to Kasper, he said, the pope smiled and added: “This enters in one ear and goes out the other.”
This shouldn’t surprise anyone. You might recall the pope’s famous magazine interview last September:
“It is amazing to see the denunciations for lack of orthodoxy that come to Rome. I think the cases should be investigated by the local bishops’ conferences, which can get valuable assistance from Rome. These cases, in fact, are much better dealt with locally.”